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April 22, 2024
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Here’s What Maggie Q Eats In A Day—And What Nutrition Experts Thinks About It

Here’s What Maggie Q Eats In A Day—And What Nutrition Experts Thinks About It

In Picture: Actor and ActivatedYou Founder Maggie Q.

ActivatedYou

From meditation and gua sha to hiking with her dogs and growing her own food, Maggie Q’s passion for holistic wellness is no secret.

The Divergent star has been pretty open about her diet and fitness on social media.

In an exclusive Q&A, I had the opportunity to ask Q how she fuels her body for sustained energy amidst an action-packed schedule.

Thankfully, The Protégé actor’s approach to food is refreshingly balanced, unlike many celebrity diets that tend to be restrictive, extreme, and sometimes, downright bizarre.

Nonetheless, it’s important to check in with a nutrition expert before trying out any new diet, as everyone has different nutritional needs, metabolism, genetics, and lifestyle. So much so, even identical twins process the same food differently.

That said, we can all probably find some inspiration from Q’s eating habits.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what’s on her plate:

Breakfast

“I’m a very light eater in the morning. I do mainly liquids,” says the 44-year-old actor and founder of ActivatedYou.

Every morning for nearly 20 years, Q has kickstarted her day with fresh-pressed green vegetable juice, followed by a cup of tea or coffee.

“Opting for a lighter meal can prevent the sluggishness associated with heavier breakfast options, thus enhancing your overall productivity and well-being,” says nutritionist and health coach Yasmeen Alsumait.

California-based registered dietitian Nicole Ibarra suggests including protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat as well for a more well-rounded breakfast.

Pre-lunch

Q takes probiotics with one liter of water before lunch.

Probiotics help replenish good bacteria and keep bad bacteria in check. This restores gut balance and keeps it functioning properly, says Dr. Amy Myersfunctional medicine physician and New York Times bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution.

Nearly 80% of your immune cells are present in the gut. In addition, around 95% of your body’s serotonin supplyaka the ‘happy hormones,’ is produced in your gut.

If the balance of your gut microbiome is thrown off, it can lead to a host of health issues, including autoimmunity, depression, anxiety, and leaky gut, to name a few, Dr. Myers explains.

“Taking a probiotic every day can help keep your microbiome in balance, which promotes optimal digestion and immunity, both of which are crucial to every aspect of your health and well-being,” she adds.

However, finding the right type of probiotic is key. Dr. Myers recommends speaking with your physician first, to determine what works best for you.

Lunch

“I like big lunches,” says Q, who believes having your largest meal during mid-day can help tackle the afternoon slump.

Alsumait says there’s a strategic advantage to having your biggest meal at lunchtime as it aligns with your body’s natural peak in metabolism and digestive efficiency, which occurs around mid-day.

If you do workout before dinner, Ibarra suggests eating your lunch 3-4 hours prior to exercising to optimize performance.

snack time

Q’s go-to snacks include whole fruits, nuts, and smoothies.

“I don’t eat bars or crackers, or store-bought bread or any snack that comes in a bag,” she says.

But that doesn’t mean Q doesn’t indulge every now and then. “Pizza is a favorite, no question. I also love French fries,” she shares.

Research suggests that leaving some wiggle room for occasional indulgence is a healthier and more sustainable approach to eating than avoiding your favorite foods altogether.

However, practicing moderation is key.

It’s well-known that a high intake of processed and ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Though, what many people may not know is how it affects us psychologically, says Avery Zenker, a registered dietitian with Everflex Fitness.

In the short term, it may cause brain fog, fatigue, and mood swings.

In the long run, diets high in ultra-processed foods may increase the risk of depression, anxietyand other mental health issues, explains Zenker.

Moreover, ultra-processed foods are often hyper-palatable, which can disrupt hunger signals and make the brain want more. “By prioritizing whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, individuals can better regulate their appetite and support overall health,” adds the nutritionist.

Dinner

“Dinner is usually pretty light—protein and veggies for the most part,” Q shares.

“A lighter evening meal can contribute to improved sleep quality, as your body isn’t tasked with extensive digestion overnight,” says Alsumait.

Maggie Q on her diet philosophy

“When I was younger, I believed one type of diet was right for everyone. That ‘healthy’ was under a small umbrella of choices,” says Q. “As I mature and study more about our biological makeup and how different we all are, I realize there is no such thing,” she adds.

Now, “I listen to my body, and I lead it in the direction that feels good and give it what it asks for,” says the Hawaiian actor.

For those who want to get in tune with their body’s hunger cues, certified holistic nutritionist Jamie Maitland recommends practicing mindful eating.

Simply put, it’s about engaging all your physical and emotional senses while eating or drinking. It also involves paying attention to your food choices and your body‘s response to them, without judgment.

Remembering what you eat is a good place to start. “If you can recall and write down every morsel of food you ate in a day, you can then start to pinpoint specific eating habits you might need to address,” explains Maitland.

You can learn more about mindful eating habits here.

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